These Old-School Polaroid Cameras Were Transformed Into Collectible Works of Art
Polaroid 600 instant cameras have been uniquely customized with cool artwork.
Since 2010, Detroit-based company 1xRUN–a community of creatives, curators, and fans–have given art collecting a current, counterculture overhaul with accessible price points and edgy runs.
They’re taking on everything from fine art prints to blotter papers, murals, and Polaroid instant cameras—all at a range of reasonable price points.
“It shouldn’t cost more than $100 to get in the game,” says Joe Silver, artist relations manager at 1xRUN.
They recently partnered with Polaroid for the photography behemoth’s first collaboration with living artists, elaborating on a release earlier this year honoring legendary NYC street artist Keith Haring.
The 1xRUN / Polaroid collab launches this month, pairing Retro Polaroid 600 film cameras refurbished by Retrospekt with original artwork and packaging designed by five leading contemporary artists, including Distortedd and Ron English.
1xRUN skirts price tags without sacrificing the art world’s addictive bombast. To date, they’ve sold over 5,000 original artworks and published 4,513 hyped-up art runs. Canadian sociocritical street artist DENIAL is a longtime collaborator whose friendship with 1xRUN predates the company’s inception.
Charged with swagger and pop culture, the artist’s designs equate consumerism with drugs, rife with luxury iconography. His latest print drop with 1XxRUN, Skate or Diet, ties skateboarding into the motif with popular brands portrayed in pill form.
Brooklyn-born and Dallas-based artist JM Rizzi recently joined 1xRUN’s ranks to present My Writes, a series of 30 original drawings on paper. Since writing graffiti during NYC’s thriving rave days, Rizzi’s art has explored the intersection of abstract expressionism and counterculture.
My Writes captures quicksilver—super precise moments in gestural drawings, black India ink on watercolor paper. In October, 1xRUN released the first 15 works in this series, which sold out in minutes. The second (and final!) half of the series drops on Monday, November 15th.
Detroit-born through and through, 1xRUN has also curated public art throughout their hometown, including Eastern Market’s Murals in the Market—which Smithsonian Mag named among the best mural fests in the world. This is the scene where artist, musician, and 1xRUN kingpin Sheefy McFly cut his creative teeth.
Today, Sheefy has painted countless murals across the state. He’s also sold more than 150 original artworks and dropped more than 30 prints through 1xRUN since 2019. The artist continually offers an exclusive collection of alluring original canvases through the platform.
Full force ahead with no notion of slowing down, 1xRUN’s legions are ever-growing. Recent additions include Los Angeles-based Freehand Profit, best known for his animal gas masks fashioned from iconic sneakers.
The artist’s latest duo of exclusive prints for 1xRUN bring these inventions into the more accessible 2D realm. On the embodied monarchs of ancient Egyptian mythology, these artworks reimagine Freehand Profit’s vision through photographs, a diptych scene whose enigma unfolds with further attention to detail.
Don’t sleep on the next great name. Participate in the real-time creation of culture and get your hand in the art collecting game with 1xRUN’s riveting releases at the apex of our artistic era. Keep an eye on their site to look out for the hottest drops, and to keep your finger on the pulse. Detroit knows.